Basal cell carcinoma can form on other parts of the body including the chest, arms and legs. They are slow growing and rarely spread to other parts of the body.
However, early treatment is important as basal cell carcinomas can grow and destroy surrounding healthy tissue. The cause of BCC is primarily due to years of exposure to ultraviolet light.
Exposure to the sun damages the DNA in the skin cells. Often with repeated exposure, the skin is no longer able to repair itself and skin cancer can develop. The risk of developing skin cancer increases significantly after the age of 50.
Excision will cut out the skin cancer as well as a small amount of the surrounding tissue after the area has been numbed. A pathologist then examines the removed tissue.
Curettage and electrodesiccation is a two-step process that removes the tumor by scraping, followed by thermal destruction.
Topical Chemotherapy can be used in the early stages of basal cell carcinomas. This involves creams containing 5-fluorouracil (Carac of Efudex) or Imiquimod(Aldara or Zyclara).
Mohs surgery (pronounced “moes”) is a highly specialized and precise surgery that removes the least amount of tissue to eradicate the cancer and preserve as much healthy tissue as possible. Mohs surgery has the highest cure rate for skin cancers. It is an in-office procedure that may take several hours. The surgeon removes the cancer, as well as a very small amount of the surrounding tissue, which is immediately examined under a microscope. These steps are repeated until the cancer is completely eradicated.